Selling your house is an exciting, albeit stressful, process. Between choosing a realtor, deciding on a price, figuring out how to best prepare your home for the market and enduring countless showings and open houses, you may feel pretty tapped out by the time the offers start rolling in. Unfortunately, there are still a few major decisions to be made, but rest assured – the end is in sight.

When a prospective buyer decides they want to purchase your home, they will submit an Offer to Purchase (sometimes called an Agreement of Sale and Purchase). This is a legal document and should come to your real estate agent through the buyer’s realtor.

The Offer to Purchase will include the price the buyers are willing to pay, any items in the home they want included in the purchase price (window coverings, appliances etc.), the desired closing date, the amount of their deposit, the date the offer expires and any other conditions. Obtaining financing and a satisfactory home inspection are common conditions included in most offers. You may also be asked to provide a current land survey.

Your realtor will meet with you to discuss the offer. At this time, you will decide if you want to accept the offer or make a counter-offer. If you accept the offer as is, the deal is done and the buyer is locked into the agreement (assuming the conditions of the offer are met in the required time frame.) If you counter-offer (asking for a higher price or different terms), the buyer then has the opportunity to accept your counter-offer, make another counter-offer or walk away from the deal completely.

If a home inspection is listed as one of the conditions of sale, it is the buyer’s responsibility to arrange the inspection and set up a mutually agreeable date and time for the inspection to take place. The buyer’s realtor and the prospective buyers will likely be present for the inspection. It is their responsibility to ensure that the home inspection and financing are completed and arranged before the Offer to Purchase expires.

Once the deal is finalized, feel free to start packing!